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Writing Frame Module B HSC Essay

Essay Writing Frame- Module B: Language, Identity and Culture
NESA sample HSC Examination: Paper 2, Section 1 Module B: Language, Identity and Culture.
How does your prescribed text invite you to question cultural assumptions? In your response, make
close reference to your prescribed text.
Big ideas
Your INTRO paragraph will need to specify:
What are cultural assumptions? Where do they come from? What do they do?
Which specific cultural assumptions will you write about in this essay?
What does it mean to ‘question’ these assumptions?
‘How’= in what way/s= analyse how the composer uses structural and language devices
Key Words
1. Prescribed text: this means the poems you have studied. Aim to refer to evidence from three poems (as
a rough guide) in your response.
2. Cultural assumptions:
Assumption (noun): an idea that people believe is true, but without actually knowing it is true or
without having thought deeply about it.
Cultural Assumption: Beliefs or attitudes about such things as gender, religion, youth, age,
disability, sexuality, social class and work that are taken for granted as being part of the fabric of
the social practices of a particular culture. Cultural assumptions underlie cultural expressions in
texts and may also be embedded in texts in various ways.
‘‘prevailing assumptions’ (from the module description): ‘Prevailing’ describes assumptions that are
widespread (many people think them) and are long-lasting (they have existed for a long time) a long
time- another word you might use for ‘prevailing’ is ‘dominant’.
3. Invite you to question:
‘to question’ can mean
a) to think deeply about, to analyse, to evaluate, to seek explanations for, to raise questions about
b) to challenge, to argue against, to contradict, to subvert, to raise questions about, to draw into
question, to make uncertain
Note that it is up to you how you choose to define the key words from the statement. If a certain definition
is important for your essay, you should
Note that just because something is ‘questioned’ does not mean it is wrong. In fact, questioning ideas can
make them stronger by leading to a deeper understanding of the reasons for something.
Here is a simple example: I have always assumed that playing sport on the weekend is good because it is
valued in my culture (cultural assumption= playing sport is important), but I have never really thought
about it deeply. One day, my friend, who does not value weekend sport, challenges my assumptions by
asking me ‘why do you play sport every weekend?’ This leads me to think deeply about my reasons, and I
realise that weekend sport provides me with a sense of community and personal achievement. This
deepens my understanding and appreciation of my cultural values and gives me a stronger sense of
identity because I understand the foundations of my values.
Task 1
a) Choose three of the statements (assumptions) below that you think would be most useful for you
in writing this essay. Be ready to explain your choices. Think about what makes a statement
b) Add two more statements (assumptions) to the list.
c) Use one of your statements as the topic sentence for a BODY paragraph responding to the essay
prompt from p.1. You may choose to plan your paragraph using the grid on the next page.
The poems invite the reader to question the assumption that. . .
1. . . . each culture is unique, or at least distinctive (different from every other culture).
2. . . . culture is static (not dynamic), meaning it does not change.
3. . . . the most authentic form of a culture is the oldest form, the original form.
4. . . . you need to be a member of a culture in order to truly appreciate it.
5. . . . if an individual adopts a new culture, they betray their old culture.
6. . . . if an individual belongs to two cultures, it is easy to move freely between them
7. . . . an individual can only truly belong to one culture- their original culture is dominant.
8. . . . cultural identity is fluid rather than static. (meaning it can change, it does not stay the same).
9. . . . cultural identity is defined by the place you live.
10. . . . a person’s cultural identity cannot change they always belong to their original culture.
11. . . .
12. . . .
Note that for each statement, you can change the words cultures/ ‘a culture/ each culture’ and replace
them with the name of a specific culture. For example, you might phrase statement #1 as ‘Chinese/
Australian/ Vietnamese culture is unique’.
How does your prescribed text invite you to question cultural assumptions? In your response, make close reference
to your prescribed text.
1. Point
Cultural assumption
The poet’s intended meaning
(i.e. the ‘cultural assumption’
might not be true)
2. Evidence
3. Analysis
(context) + quotation + technique
How/ why these devices lead the reader to
question the cultural assumption?
Task 2- Annotate the question below. Highlight key words and make note of:
o Synonyms and antonyms
o Definitions and related concepts
o Evidence (quotations and devices)
DOE Sample question (Paper 2, Module B: Language, Identity and Culture)
How does the language used in your prescribed text express the complexities and subtleties of
personal, social and cultural identity?
In your response, refer to your prescribed text and one related text of your choice.